Explore the Tuscan valley of Casentino and its best-kept secrets
See Tuscany as you have never seen it before - combine cooking and hiking in the Casentino valley!
Immerse yourself in the culture and lifestyle of Tuscany. At Casa Ombuto we are now offering, for selected weeks, a combination of cooking and hiking. Learn to cook authentic Italian dishes, have fun and make friends for life, all while staying in Casa Ombuto and hiking with a professional guide in the beautiful Casentino Valley
The hikes are given by the professional, English-speaking Guides of In Quiete. They will give you more information about the landscape and its history. These Guides have known the Casentino valley since they were children and know the best spots for amazing hikes. The Hikes are organised on Monday and Friday morning and the drive to the start of the hike in the Nature Reserve of Casentino is included. The hikes are E Catergory, which means they are easy for persons who do some physical activity. Together with the group you will be able to explore the nature and history of past and present human life. The first hike will be in the surroundings of Casa Ombuto, both in Quota and Raggiolo, the second hike is a bit longer and will be in the national park of Casentino. After the hike there is enough time to grab a snack or a light lunch and get ready for the cooking lesson, given by Paola in the afternoon. We have hiking shoes, Nordic walking sticks and rain ponchos available at the villa Casa Ombuto, free for your use.
The valley is part of the province of Arezzo, which is one of the most well-known provinces of Tuscany. The Casentino Valley is rich with history, art, good food and numerous outdoor activities. Lying approximately 50 km to the east of Florence, this isolated valley offers opportunities for visitors of all ages to visiting castles, trekking through centuries-old forests, taste authentic recipes and discovering many of the best kept secrets from locals. The mountains of Casentino have attracted great saints such and St. Romuald and St. Francis of Assisi. The largest communal towns in the Casentino valley are Bibbiena and Poppi. The villa Casa Ombuto lies in a small glen above the beautiful town of Poppi.
Casentino is a narrow valley between the Apennine ridge and the hills of Pratomagno. The hilly part of the valley has been the home of the Arno River and many farms for decades. The landscape is characterised by sedimentary rock, predominantly sandstone, intercalated with marl, which in Romagna frequently appears with characteristic stratified escarpments or with bare ridges. The structure of the South-East area of the park is different: here the distinctive feature of Mount La Verna rises up with its calcareous crags from a landscape of broad, rolling hills interrupted by badland erosions, revealing the presence of clay. From a naturalist viewpoint, the Park stands out as one of the most prized forest areas in Europe. At the heart of the park is the Foreste Demaniali Casentinesi [State Casentino forest], within which the Riserva Naturale Integrale (Integral Nature Reserve) of Sasso Fratino, founded in 1959, can be found.
The territory has towns and villages which are rich in history, artistic and architectural heritage. They present themselves to the visitor in a wonderful natural frame, rich in flora and fauna, including the most important population of the Apennine wolf, as well as the exceptional presence of five species of ungulates (mammals with hooves): wild boar, roe deer, fallow deer, common deer, and mouflon (mountain sheep). Inside the park, there are two points of great interest and spiritual importance: the Sanctuary of La Verna and the Hermitage of Camaldoli. The forest has also represented the only true wealth of this territory, since it provided wood of the best quality and thus gave the mountain people a means of living. The Park includes an area in which people have always lived and worked, this is the reason for the presence of many ruins and abandoned villages within the park territory. As a result of the mass exodus that took place starting from the Second World War, the number of actual inhabitants of the Park has dwindled to about 1,500. The protected area can be visited making pleasant excursions on foot, mountain bike and horseback or, in winter, on cross-country skis along a path network of approximately 600 kilometers.
Casentino looks forward to showing you its charm!
The Tuscookany Team
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